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Sex offender’s home ownership doesn’t impact residency restriction

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A convicted sex offender who argued that a probation condition prohibiting him from living within 1,000 feet of a school is unduly restrictive on his property interest in a home he owns lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Mark Gaither committed child molesting in 1995 and 1996 but wasn’t convicted until August 2008. As part of his probation and parole, he isn’t allowed to live within 1,000 feet of school property. He owns a home in Muncie that is within 1,000 feet of a middle school, and he wants to live there. The statute requiring that sex offenders on probation/parole be prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school was enacted in 1999.

Gaither claims because he committed his offenses before the statutes were enacted, he isn’t subject to them and the residency restriction placed on him violates the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution.

Even though his probation has since expired, the COA ruled on the case because of public importance.

Gaither tried to distinguish his case from Hevner v. State, 919 N.E.2d 109 (Ind. 2010), in which the Indiana justices ruled that Hevner, who had been convicted of a sex offense, was subject to conditions of probation, including living within 1,000 feet of a school. Gaither claimed that because he owned his home before he committed the child molesting, he should be allowed to stay in it.

The justices “made no distinction between ownership and mere residency, and the fact that an offender owns a home in which he is not allowed to reside during his term of probation or parole is immaterial in determining whether a condition of probation or parole is related to an offender’s rehabilitation, while protecting the public,” wrote Judge John Baker.

The appellate court ruled in Mark Gaither v. Indiana Dept. of Correction, et al.,18A02-1111-MI-1073, that Indiana courts have held that prohibiting a sex offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school as a condition of probation is reasonably related to the offender’s rehabilitation and is permissible.

 

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  • SOR
    I read and I have the article that states that the Indiana Supreme Court ruled unaniousmly the sex offender registration is punitive (puinishment) therefore it is doublr jeopardy!
  • Rehab
    If someone is convicted of possession of child porn but never did anything else or caused harm to a child or any other person in their 40+ years, what type of rehabiltation do they need? Should they have their eyes poked out?

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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